21 years ago today I lay in a hospital room giving birth to a 9 pound 7 ounce beautiful baby boy. It was my very first child. I was only 21 years myself when I gave birth that day, and now today, 21 years later, it is my son’s 21st birthday. Crazy.
I remember the very moment Dalton came into this world. I remember thinking to myself, “here is this little person who wasn’t in the room two minutes ago and now here he is and he is going to be in my life forever. In that single moment one person changed my life forever. My life would never be the same.
Dalton was literally the most perfect little child a mother could ask for. He was respectful and kind. He was tender-hearted and caring. He was always thinking of others and always putting others first. He found joy in making others smile.
As a little boy Dalton’s bangs wouldn’t grow. It made me crazy. The rest of his hair came in but those little bangs were just stubs. So for the first few years we kept him in a baseball cap to hide his missing bangs. Then finally, in what could only be considered a miracle, his bangs finally grew in and I could take off that baseball cap and actually fix his hair. What a glorious day that was! He looked so cute with his little bangs spiked up. And then one day I came upstairs to find him with his baseball cap back on again and a pair of little scissors in his hands looking very guilty. I panicked. Not the hair…that beautiful hair that had just grown out for the first time. “Dalton!” I yelled, “what have you done?”. I ran over to him and dropped to my knees to lift the baseball cap off his head and see how bad the damage was. I lifted the cap to see that Dalton had taken the scissors and literally cut only his bangs all the way to his scalp…literally as close to the scalp as he could have gotten without cutting his skin…they were gone….the beautiful bangs were completely gone…my eyes welled up with tears. Dalton, seeing my reaction gently placed his little hand on my shoulder and looking straight into my eyes and said, “Mom, it’s okay, Jesus will make it grow back.” And with that I have perfectly described the personality of the little boy that came into my life 21 years ago today.
The joy and friendship that Dalton has brought into my life couldn’t be described in words. Dalton saw me through a painful divorce when he was only 5 years old. Dalton was the man of our house from the age of 5 to the age of 14 when I remarried to Rollin. Dalton helped to raise his little sister and he was a best friend to his single mother. Dalton has always had wisdom that went well beyond his years and a heart of gold, and you will rarely find him without a huge smile on his face. Dalton makes the world a better place because he is in it.
Happy Birthday to my sweet son today! I don’t get to be with him today because he is finishing up his service as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mississippi, but he comes home in less than four weeks and I cannot wait to hug my little boy again. Sure, he may be 6’3” tall and he may be 21 years old today, but he will ALWAYS be my little boy and the person who changed my life forever. I LOVE YOU DALTON!